Nothing, it seems, can stop the Apocalypse. The sixth entry in the wildly popular X-Men series, X-Men: Apocalypse, has hit theaters with massive expectations from fans and studio heads alike, with both factions anticipating great things to come from the movie narratively and financially.
Things didn’t look so good for Apocalypse heading into this Memorial Day weekend. For a while there, Fox looked to be sitting on top of a massive dud, with early reviews being largely negative. Despite the bad buzz, however, fans held out hope that the movie - which features James McAvoy (Victor Frankenstein) returning as professor Charles Xavier alongside Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs) as Magneto and Oscar Isaac (Ex Machina) as En Sabah Nur a.k.a. Apocalypse - would live up to the bar set by the film’s immediate predecessors, First Class and Days of Future Past. The mix of bad hype and high hopes led many to wonder just how the movie would perform in its opening weekend, and the early numbers are surely causing sighs of relief among studio executives.
The first numbers have begun coming in following the film’s early previews last night, according the Deadline. So far, Apocalypse is on track to crush the box office this weekend with an expected take of $90 million. The next highest performer, Alice Through the Looking Glass, comes in way under expectations with $40 million, leaving the X-Men standing high as Memorial Weekend champions.
Including last night’s estimated take of $8.2 million, Apocalypse is already on track to earn in the neighborhood of $30 million Friday alone. That number will only rise as more and more families look to kill some time this long weekend by checking out the current offerings at the movie theaters. Memorial Day Weekend traditionally kicks off the summer movie extravaganza, and studios often use the weekend as a barometer by which to measure their success.
That Apocalypse is expected to have so high a take this weekend flies in the face of the notion that we’re experiencing so-called “superhero fatigue,” an idea that suggests the number of comic book inspired movies over the last few years is starting to wear thin on audiences. Indeed, the movie is also going head-to-head against Marvel Studios’ Captain America: Civil War, which has already grossed over $1 billion in worldwide box office take.
Of course, with an expected price tag of $178 million, Apocalypse still has a long way to go before it starts turning a profit for the studio. It’s possible that opening weekend audiences will mirror the opinions of early critics, and the movie’s numbers will fall off drastically in the weeks to come due to poor word of mouth. Moreover, the projections for the weekend pale somewhat in comparison to previous Memorial Day release for the franchise, with The Last Stand raking in $122.9 million and Days of Future Past at $110.6.
For now, however, a little negativity isn’t seeming to be an impediment to Apocalypse’s quest for box office glory. Not even Marvel’s puppet masters over at Disney seem to be able to stop the onslaught with their Alice in Wonderland sequel, which is also the victim of poor reviews. Alice Through the Looking Glass, however, has been even more savagely received by critics, with its current Rotten Tomatoes score sitting at 29%, compared to Apocalypse’s 47% (at the time of this writing).
This is all great news for Fox, who remains eager to keep their hands firmly locked on the Marvel franchise, which has been financially successful for them in past, despite mixed feelings from both critics and fans. The inconsistency of the franchise will continue to remain a non-issue so long as the movies keep making money - and that doesn’t seem to be a problem in this case.
These numbers are just projections, it’s worth noting, and they might rise and fall as the long weekend continues. We’ll keep you posted on how X-Men: Apocalypse eventually fares, in addition to other analysis, throughout the weekend and beyond.
Next: X-Men Apocalypse Review
X-Men: Apocalypse is now playing in theaters. Wolverine 3 opens in U.S. theaters on March 3rd, 2017, followed by unannounced X-Men films on October 6th, 2017 (possibly Gambit), January 12th, 2018 (possibly Deadpool 2), and July 13th, 2018 (possibly New Mutants). X-Force is also in development.